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© Mr Michael Perry

IoE Number: 271106
Photographer: Mr Michael Perry
Date Photographed: 02 March 2006
Date listed: 25 February 1955
Date of last amendment: 25 February 1955
Grade I

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ST21NE STAPLE FITZPAINE CP STAPLE FITZPAINE VILLAGE 11/167 Church of St Peter 25.2.55 GV I Parish church. Norman in origin, Norman doorway reset in south aisle, chancel C14, north aisle added and church refenestrated C15, tower cl500, south aisle added reusing nave windows, south porch and vestry 1841, church reseated and restored 1894, reroofed mid C20. Squared and coursed blue lias, Ham stone dressings, slate roofs, behind plain parapets, coped verges. Three and a half bay aisled nave, west tower, south porch, chancel, north-east vestry. Crenellated 3-stage tower, merlons pierced with trefoil headed arches set on quatrefoil pierced parapet, crocketed finials with detached pinnacles and corbelled out pinnacles in the centre of each face, string courses, gargoyles, set back buttresses terminating in pinnacles with pinnacles rising in between, two 2-light mullioned and transomed bell-openings, Somerset tracery, flanked by pinnacles rising from string course, second stage 4-light mullioned and transomed window sill supported by angel corbels, empty crocketed niches with angel corbels, string course, 4-light west window above strongly moulded Tudor arch head west door, decorative spandrels with coats of arms (possibly of the Earls of Northumberland who had the gift of the living), C19 door, flanking niches, stone spire to north-east stair turret with crocketed pinnacles, 4-centred arch doorway and blind niches; 3-light west window to south aisle, set back buttresses, 3-light windows flanking single storey gabled porch, coped verges, moulded arched doorway, Norman inner door, decorated arch and abaci with oxen's face, bird and palmette, no columns, C19 ribbed door, 3-light window east end, two 3-light to south wall of chancel, setback buttresses, 3-light east window, vestry with door on east front and 2-light north window, 3-light north window to chancel, 3-light at east end of north aisle, statues set in niches south-west and north-east corners, three 3-light windows north face, stepped buttresses between, 3-light west end. Interior: exposed blue lias rubble. Standard Perpendicular arcade with half bay at chancel end, copied in north aisle. Pointed chancel arch chamfered in 2 orders, strongly moulded 4-centred tower arch. Chamfered round arched piscina in chancel. Grotesque figure corbel supporting statue niche in north-west corner of north aisle. Roofs: chancel, restored ceiled wagon roof, bosses and wall plate, resting on cavetto moulded stone cornice, nave similar without stone cornice; north aisle renewed moulded compartment ceiling to monopitch roof, angel corbels with shields, copied in south aisle; tower 4-panel compartment ceiling. Restored 2:1:2 bay rood screen imported from the demolished Bickenhall Church. Perpendicular font. Four C18 slate slabs on sanctuary floor; kneeling effigy of Rachel Portman, daughter of Henry ?ortman, died 1632 also from Bickenhall Church, (demolished 1849). Convex lias panel to William Crosse of Parke Lodge died 1702, the columns, heavy cornice and weeping putti described by Collinson were destroyed during 1841 restoration. Oval grey and white marble tablet to Robert Barker, died 1785, and his wife Ann. The restoration of 1841 was carried out at the expense of the Rector, the Rev F B Portman; prior to this the church is said to have comprised a nave and chancel north aisle, porch and south chapel. A particularly splendid tower, similar to those at Kingston St Mary and Isle Abbotts. (Photographs in NMR; Sixsmith, Staple Fitzpaine and the Forest of Neroche, 1958; Pevsner, Buildings of England, South and west Somerset, 1958).

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